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Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan Paperback – 9 Feb 1987

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Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan + Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan
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Product details

  • Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (9 Feb. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822307723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822307723
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
In 1923, H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, the recognized high priests of criticism of the American scene, described the Ku Klux Klan for Smart Set, their journal of satirical sophistication. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By s_genta@yahoo.fr on 23 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
Chalmers gives a fully documented account of the Klan from its birth in the Reconstruction era, to its powerful and nationwide influence on American society in the "Roaring Twenties", to its most recent racist activities. Hooded Americanism undoubtedly contributes to a better understanding of this not only extremely violent and racist, but also fully part of the American mind organization that is the Klan. MacLean's Behind the Mask of Chivalry and Mecklin's The Ku Klux Klan: A Study of the American Mind are also two major works about the secret order that are worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
this book was first published in 1965. 90% of the book covers the period before this date, and 40 pages deemed to have added on for the later editions. it is written in a very dated prose, and to be honest is quite dull. it covers the pre WW2 era in a series of chapters based on geography, which are hard going. it is more of a chronological history that much else.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Bosman on 18 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
A previous reviewer notes that this is dated, finishing as it does in the 1960s. While such criticism is valid and correct it would take a second volume of similar proportions to deal with the complexity that is the modern KKK or rather KKKs. I have deucted one star for this reason as the perfect book on the KKK would deal with the whole history to the present day. Harsh and overly critical perhaps but this is not perfect for that one reason alone.

It is unfair though to criticise this book for having the post 1940s KKK by geography as it was along these lines that the KKK splintered.

I have read several books on the KKK and this is the only one that adequately deals with the whole history of the KKK from its beginnings to the 1960s. I would suggest anyone interested in the subject starts here and then goes onto more specific areas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Excellent history of the KKK. 12 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In "Hooded Americanism," David M. Chalmers chronicles the history of the Ku Klu Klan in all of its incarnations, from immediately after the Civil War to the late 1970s. Mr. Chalmers also discusses the Klan's development and success (or lack of) in all of the states during its strongest period in the 1920s to 1930s. Mr. Chalmers also discusses in great detail the turbulent 1960s and how the Klan helped inadvertently brought about the Civil Rights legislation it fought so hard against. Exhaustively researched and well written, "Hooded Americanism" is a factual glimpse into the life of a controverisal organization and into the lives of the men and women who made it possible. Mr. Chalmers makes excellent use of contemporary newspaper accounts and editorials to paint the Klan and its standing in a given community. What I found especially intriguing was the Klan's demographics. Mr. Chalmers presents research that refutes long-held convictions that the Klan was always strongest in the South; in fact the Klan, at times, ruled the legal governments of the Midwest. Mr. Chalmers also discusses how various state legislatures and governors fought the Klan or sided with them. Again, I was surprised at how many governments actually tried to curb the growth of the Klan in their states through anti-mask laws and other legislation. This exploded notions I had that the Klan was unchallenged everywhere it went, especially in the 1920s. Mr. Chalmers has written an excellent history that encompasses in great detail the 100 years following the Civil War. I hope that he is at work on updating this important work. Highly recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hooded Americans: A History of the Ku Klux Klan 20 Oct. 2012
By Leo B. Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is obviously a well researched, very well organized history of the white sheeted Americans. In a troubled time in American History, men searched for ways of enforcing their wills on those they have targeted. In today's more stable culture,understanding of Justice, and of racial problems, it seems incredible that such an organization could be in America. The depth of the authors organization, state by state, does not leave the national scene behind.
I have no problem recommending this book to any one interested in American history, or aspects of religious perpetuation, racial problems, or understanding one time period in American history. An interesting story
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
C-SPAN for the KKK 11 May 2015
By The Seeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I had just finished another Klan book called "The Fiery Cross" by Wyn Craig Wade which covered the KKK's entire history in detail. I was hoping "Hooded Americanism" by David Chamlers was going to be the same concept, only told through a different point of view.

The author however barely talks about the Reconstruction era and "The Birth of a Nation". Most stuff about the Ku Klux Klan of various timelines in general get very little attention. Virtually the entire book focuses on the 1920's Invisible Empire and then it only gives the spotlight to the politics of each state. i.e. How the Ku Klux Klan had a role. I couldn't get into it. It was repetitive and bland.

There were some good parts here and there like when the writer discusses the Italian-American Mafia in Chicago, Illinois waring with the Ku Klux Klan or when mobs of people attacked the Klan, but you have to go through a lot of uninteresting stuff to get to those very rare and exciting gems.

I thought it was interesting how in the 1920's in the Northern states there were thousands of Yankees who would have counter-rallies and/or get tough with the men in the white robes, much like folks today, but I have yet to read of there being any violent protests against the KKK from people in the south in the roaring twenties.

Another reviewer pointed out that the author came across as racially-prejudice and I see what they mean. Chamlers kept referring to African-Americans as "Colored" and "Negro". Chamlers wasn't quoting anyone either. This book came out in 1987 too, so those terms were highly outdated and very racist expressions to use to describe African-Americans.

Someone must have finally told David that because near the end of the book, he randomly stopped using those words and started to refer to African-Americans as "black people".

Anyhow, I thought the book overall was very boring. I bought a used copy here on Amazon and saw that it was a discarded ex-library tract. I can see why no one liked it now.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The KKK and you 29 Mar. 2014
By Gila Ariel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed history not very well written. I gather that this is one of the most comprehensive histories compiled on the KKK and in order to prove its case it goes into endless factual detail, quite rightly so. However this makes for rather boring reading and in addition the author assumes that the reader knows what many organizations are that are only identified by their initials. The ironic tone taken by the author in many instances, is irritating and at times even confusing. The kindle edition has frequent typos and some grammatical errors. The last part of the book is written in a more freely flowing style and is therefore an easier read. All together, very informative and a real eye-opener and yet it manages to make a very interesting subject dull. However I found the extensive foot notes, references and bibliography very helpful and satisfying and as a source book, I would definitely recommend this work.
Four Stars 1 Oct. 2014
By J. Fosler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this for a school paper and it was very informative.
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